About us


The origins of the Moral Regeneration Movement (MRM) date back to a meeting in June 1997 between then-President Nelson Mandela and key South African Faith Based Organisation leaders, the then Deputy Minister of Education Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa and the SABC, to discuss spiritual transformation. At that meeting, President Mandela spoke about the role of religion in nation-building and social transformation, and the need for religious institutions to work with the state to overcome the ‘spiritual malaise’ underpinning the crime problem.


“Our hopes and dreams, at times, seem to be overcome by cynicism, self-centredness and fear. This spiritual malaise sows itself as a lack of good spirit, as pessimism, or lack of hope and faith. And from it emerge the problems of greed and cruelty, of laziness and egotism, of personal and family failure. It both helps fuel the problems of crime and corruption and hinders our efforts to deal with them” President Mandela stated.

Mandela then called upon religious leaders to become actively involved in a campaign, which would subsequently become the moral regeneration initiative. At a moral summit in October 1998, he outlined some of the problems the moral regeneration campaign would have to tackle, as follows: 

“The symptoms of our spiritual malaise are only too familiar. They include the extent of corruption both in the public and private sector, where office and positions of responsibility are treated as opportunities for self-enrichment; the corruption that occurs within our justice system; violence in interpersonal relations and families, in particular the shameful record of abuse of women and children; and the extent of tax evasion and refusal to pay for services used.”

The historic gathering to launch the national Moral Regeneration Movement at the Waterkloof Air Force Base on 18 April 2002 was the culmination of a process begun in 1998 when former President Nelson Mandela invited leaders of political parties and religious communities to a Moral Summit in Johannesburg to address the profound issue of moral renewal in South Africa.

Two workshops on Moral Regeneration under the leadership of Deputy President Jacob Zuma followed, which produced the booklet Freedom and Obligation, and a national Consultation in November 2001 proposed the establishment of the national Moral Regeneration Movement.


The purpose of the Moral Regeneration Movement (MRM) is “to facilitate, encourage and coordinate the programme of every society in working towards restoring the moral fibre of our nation”.


The MRM is a civil society driven movement which is not intended to be driven from the top. Its purpose is to coordinate the many concerns that already exist among our people. High moral values are revealed in all our cultures and the people wish to transform the anti-social acts which threaten our country.

The MRM will address “the issue of the responsibility that each and all of us should take our lives, moving from the understanding that, as we were our own liberators in resistance against apartheid so too should we today act as our own liberators in dealing with its legacy”-President Thabo Mbeki.

The MRM is a framework to encourage, facilitate, sensitize and network the response in every sector of our society. It envisages a confident community with a strong moral fibre. Its mission is to revive the spirit of Ubuntu/Botho, using all the resources available in government and civil society. The MRM is committed to establish the values we uphold and with which we want all nations in the world to identify us.


  1. Rational for MRM Month


MRM Month is a month where the Moral Regeneration Movement calls on the Nation – all South Africans and all those who live within our borders -  to take stock of our lives to celebrate the good, acknowledge the hard work that is done by men and women moral regeneration practitioners as well as all those who have dedicated their lives to doing good; individuals, organisations or institutions, who promote positive values and work towards strengthening and enhancing the building of a moral, just and humane society.


July was chosen as MRM Month for the following reasons:


  • It is the month in which the Charter of Positive Values was formerly adopted at a ceremony held at the Waterkloof Air Force Base endorsed by the then Deputy President of South Africa, the Hon Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka as Patron of the Moral Regeneration Movement. The event was attended by about 3000 South Africans from all walks of life, especially those that had been part of the consultations of the formulations of the Charter: civil society, academia, business, labour, political parties, Faith Based Organisations, Women, Youth formations and other stakeholders.
  • It is the birth month of Former President Nelson Mandela who convened the first Moral Summit to discuss the spiralling moral decay that was becoming pervasive in our country.
  • It is also to give time and space for all South Africans to reflect on the state of the nation regarding our moral and ethical behaviour and to encourage one another to aim to improve for the sake of attaining a sustainable moral, just, humane, stable and prosperous nation.


We have crossed the historic bridge from inequality and conflict to a society grounded in common citizenship and in pursuit of equality. We reflect on the diverse journeys and cultures that have brought us to liberation and democracy, and commit ourselves to those ideals and ethical values that unite us in our diversity. 
Within this common commitment, born in struggle, dedicated to the healing of past wounds, affirming the dignity of all, and in pursuit of the social and material security of our people, we pledge ourselves to defend and uphold the values contained herein. We do so recognising that our future is dependent on the protection of the environment and the welfare of all who live within our borders, inhabit the African continent and constitute the broader family of nations.
Respect Human Dignity And Equality 
Committed to the spirit of Ubuntu/Batho, which under-lies our democracy and is embedded in our constitution, we dedicate ourselves as a nation to: 
Our constitution affirms that human beings are born free and with equal dignity.
We commit ourselves to:
  • Respect the worth of all individuals, irrespective of social origin, race, gender, age, status and class. 
  • Fight against the physical and emotional harassment of women that results in rape and other forms of abuse.
  • Eradicate the abuse of children brought about by social ills such as malnutrition, child labour, drug trafficking, pornography and prostitution.
  • Care for all who are weak and disadvantaged: the poor, the aged, the disabled, and all those unable to care for themselves.
  • Oppose any form of physical, emotional, and/or psychological abuse or ill-treatment of another human being.
  • Overcome discrimination on the basis of status, custom, culture, race, gender, sexual orientation, health-status, and tradition.
  • Work for the physical security and protection of all people.

Promote Responsible Freedom, The Rule Of Law and Democracy
Individual freedom within the rule of law is the basis of justice, fairness, nation-building and good governance.
We commit ourselves to:
  • Allow freedom of expression, association, movement, residence, belief, opinion and religion.
  • A sense of social responsibility by respecting the rule of law, honesty, hard work and standards of ethical decency.
  • Fight against all forms of crime, corruption and violence. 
  • Strive for national unity and the indivisibility of the Republic.
  • Improve Material Well-Being and Economic Justice

The socio-economic rights that are part of our constitution must be seen as more than inspirational rights. Policy and programmes need to provide the poor with opportunities to achieve human dignity and material well-being.
We commit ourselves to:
  • Overcome the entrenched economic and material inequalities of the past and present, and to promote opportunities for everyone to share the resources of our country.
  • Oppose greed, selfishness and undue self-enrichment at all times.
  • Overcome corruption, whether driven by personal gain, dishonesty, favouritism, nepotism or other motivations.
  • Foster transparency in government and business through timely, accessible and accurate information on all matters affecting public life. 
  • Ensure competent and fair management and employment practices that result in broad-based racial and gender representation.
  • Enhance Sound Family and Community Values Family and community are core socialising units that inspire and create the moral and ethical values in society.

We commit ourselves to: 

• Promote family values, fidelity, responsibility, respect for parents and elders, nurturing of children, support for the elderly, and the development and maintenance of the household.
• Fight against domestic violence and the neglect of family responsibilities, whether due to substance abuse, cultural belief or gender discrimination.
• Cultivate a family and communal environment that promotes a culture of care, generosity and inclusivity.
• Use resources efficiently and equitably to the benefit of all family and community members.
• Benefit others as well as ourselves through personal growth and acquisition of skills.
• Promote and harness collective responsibility among families and communities within the spirit of ubuntu.
• Promote safety nets for families.
• Uphold Honesty, Integrity and Loyalty
Honesty, integrity and loyalty are key social values and should be upheld in good governance.
We commit ourselves to:
• Interact sincerely, openly and honestly. 
• Promote and encourage good relations, mutual trust and social coexistence across the historic divisions that characterise the past. 
• Use the judicial system to punish all forms of theft, extortion, bribery, dishonesty and exploitation.
• Ensure Harmony In Culture, Belief and Conscience

Social Africa’s racial and ethnic diversity has the capacity to inspire and enrich a culture and value system that can sustain the values embodied in this Charter.
We commit ourselves to:

• Promote freedom of conscience, religious tolerance and the acceptance of different ideological persuasions without prejudice or favour.
• Promote independent critical thinking and a culture of participatory debate. • Promote respect for the beliefs and value others.
• Promote the right of every citizen to give expression to his or her views without fear of censure, intimidation or harassment.
• Oppose all forms of prejudice, whether individual, corporate or through membership or association with an organisation that undermines the integrity of others. 
• Promote equal opportunities for all persons including disable people and those suffering form HIV and AIDS and other forms of disease.
• Show Respect and Concern For All People

Respect, care and concern are among the overarching values characteristic of South African people. We recognise that there can be no peace or security without respect and care.
We commit ourselves to:
• Refrain from using derogatory language and abusive labels in our interactions with others
• Promote peace, friendship, tolerance and national unity among cultural, religious and linguistic communities.
• Show respect to all individuals and social groups.
• Strive For Justice, Fairness And Peaceful Co-Existence

Peaceful co-existence requires justice, fairness and mutual respect as a basis for national reconciliation. 
The healing of past prejudice and divisions is required to ensure the promotion of democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights for all.
We commit ourselves to: 

• Counter aggressive and rude behaviour with respect understanding.
• Oppose individuals and groups that seek to disturb the peace, stability and security of the nation through prejudiced and/or undemocratic behaviour.
• Provide social and other services in an impartial, fair, equitable and unbiased way to all people.
• Protect The Environment

The heritage we can all pass to our children and to future generations is a healthy environment.
We commit ourselves to:

• Respect and promote our bio-diversity. 
• Ensure that our production activities cause minimal air pollution. 
• Keep our living habitats clean and environmentally friendly. 
• Use our soil responsibly and prevent soil erosion. 
• Protect our water sources.

Remembering the hostilities and prejudice that characterize our past, we recognize the fragility of social relations in our new democracy. This requires the affirmation of such minimal moral values to which all peaceful South Africans can aspire as a basis for reaching out to one another in the spirit that gave our nation birth knowing that South Africa belongs to all who dwell within it.


1. Those in positions of political leadership These are our leaders. They set an example. They are called on to manifest the ethical values of honesty, respect for one's opponent, fairness, wisdom, and above all, integrity. They must also choose candidates for their parties who are persons of integrity, committed to serving the common good.

2.. Those campaigning for votes for their     parties Here there is a clear call for maturity and honesty. Campaigners need to use rational persuasion. 'Play the ball not the player.' There can be no room for violence or intimidation, especially the kind that misuses religious, racial and tribal fears. 4. Those who vote You might think you're just an individual. But you belong to the collective with a common purpose – which is the main stakeholder. Voters have the final say! And voting in an ethical and mature way – which is an expression of UBUNTU – is a telling statement that South Africa has come of age. Actions speak louder than words Voting ethically is a sign of human dignity, a dignity which for generations had been denied the majority of people in South Africa. Voting is an act of kindness to our neighbour inasmuch as it is an action that promotes the common good , We recall the words of Nelson Mandela.

Preamble Ethics is about values, and, for the social beings that we are, it is about shared values. Our own Constitution crystallizes many ideals, values, hopes and dreams of all the people of this country when it articulates that:

Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land.

  •  Human dignity, equality, and advancement of rights and freedoms (with their corresponding civic duties and responsibilities).
  • Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity. The Constitution is founded on ethical values and underpinning principles which promote the common good:
  • Accountability, responsibility and transparency in the exercise of democracy

We can justly be proud of the historical process that shaped the Constitution.  Rooted in the painful experiences of the past (which confirmed for us the type of people we do not want to be), our Constitution brought together all sectors of our population in an affirmation of a common humanity where everyone, regardless of gender, creed or race, would experience their dignity and worth. 

Thousands of submissions by ordinary South Africans were collated and consolidated in the shaping of our Constitution. It is for us an expression of a desire for the common good that transcends party politics. The same is true for the Charter of Positive Values of the Moral Regeneration Movement. 

  • In this spirit of promoting the common good and upholding our shared values we affirm that: 
  • Voting is a right. 
  • Voting is your independent choice. 
  • Voting is a moral obligation. 
  • Voting is an act of social responsibility.


  •  Voting honours the memory of Nelson Mandela and countless others whose struggle for justice brought democracy to South Africa twenty-five years ago and made it possible for us to vote today
  • By voting you are shaping your future and that of your fellow South Africans

A Message to First-time Voters

  • By voting you are shaping your future and that of your fellow South Africans.

Becoming a nation is an ongoing process in which every new generation must take part. Election 2019 welcomes voters who were born after the election of 1994 – that very first democratic election where Nelson Mandela could say in his old age: “I slipped my folded paper into a simple wooden box; I had cast the first vote of my life.” As you cast the first vote of your life, celebrate your own dignity and your freedom to choose for yourself whom you wish to vote for. Different stakeholders, one ethic If it is an ethical choice to vote, it is also necessary to be ethical in voting. Every election has different stakeholders, each with a particular responsibility and function. Yet the ethical principles and values outlined above apply in specific ways to each. 
1. The IEC and all officials managing the processes of an election This sector needs to embody the values of honesty, fairness, efficiency, transparency, accountability, service, and last but not least, a strict observance of all legal requirements.